August 2013

Orioles vs. Athletics lineups and pregame notes

*Jason Hammel, who will throw off the mound for a second time Sunday, is slated to throw for Double-A Bowie in a rehab game that will most likely be on Thursday. Hammel will throw 45-50 pitches in that game and he could need just one more rehab game after that, particularly if the team brings him back as a bullpen option. That scenario is looking like it will probably happen and it will give the Orioles back Hammel much quicker if it does.

*Miguel Gonzalez is available out of the bullpen for the next two days and if he’s not used he’s lined up to start Friday’s series opener in New York. The Orioles, who will get their fifth off day this month on Monday, have lined up their rotation to better matchup in September and this is one example of that. Boston’s series will be Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris and Chris Tillman.

*Scott Feldman, who has been in the bullpen the past few days in the event of an emergency, will pitch Sunday’s series finale against Oakland.

*Kevin Gausman, who is expected to be one of the team’s September callups, could come up earlier than that. Gausman, who will likely work out of the bullpen for Baltimore,  is slated to start Monday’s game at Triple-A right now but that could change quickly. The Orioles start a three-city road trip Tuesday that opens in Boston and they could send out a starter –given Monday’s off day– and have  the potential to get them back without missing a start.

September callups will come in waves, but starters Tsuyoshi Wada and Zach Britton are solid candidates to come up and add lefty relief help (along with reliever Mark Hendrickson) with position players outfielders Chris Dickerson and Jason  Pridie. Infield prospect Jonathan Schoop is a possibility –but he’s not a lock– as is designated hitter Henry Urrutia. The Orioles, like last year, will call up guys they think can help the big-league club and not just to take a look at them. They will also have emergency candidates working out at an instructional league of sorts at their spring facility in Sarasota, Fla.

Here are your lineups for this afternoon’s game, which is airing on FOX, as the Orioles’ try to take the series following last night’s 9-7 win

ATHLETICS LINEUP
Coco Crisp DH
Jed Lowrie SS
Josh Donaldson 3B
Brandon Moss 1B
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Josh Reddick LF
Chris Young CF
Eric Sogard 2B
Kurt Suzuki C

Jarrod Parker RHP

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nate McLouth Lf
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty DH
Brian Roberts 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

Orioles vs. A’s (Garcia traded)- updated

*Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel threw off the mound for the first time since hitting the disabled list this afternoon and came away encouraged with how he felt.

“I’m not trying to stay on the DL. I’m trying to get back, so I might as well let it fly,” said Hammel who used all his pitches and said he let it go 100 percent during the session with pitching coach Billy Castro. “It felt good for a few days now with the long toss and everything. I probably threw 30 from the stretch, next 15 from the windup and I felt real good.”

Hammel will do the same thing, maybe throwing more pitches, on Sunday and manager Buck Showalter said he could go out on a rehab assignment mid-next week. Asked if the earliest return date for Hammel would be sometime in September, Showalter said: ” As a starter, yes. We could have a need here and we really like what we’ve seen (from Hammel) and something could happen physically, knock on wood, and maybe a starter has an issue or something goes wrong, we could kind of push it up a little.”

So Hammel in relief is a possibility for the Orioles in the final month. The Orioles could also go with a six-man rotation, which is something Showalter hasn’t ruled out.

“I would think for sure his first appearance there [on rehab] would be as a starter,” Showalter said.  “Just to make sure he starts an inning and gets time to warm up and all that for sure. And then also there’s things that could change up here which dictates that he needs to come back in a certain role.”

*Scott Feldman is in the bullpen tonight and if he’s not needed he will start Sunday’s series finale against the A’s.

*The Orioles traded veteran Minor League pitcher Freddy Garcia to the Atlanta Braves on Friday afternoon in exchange for cash considerations. The 36-year-old Garcia went 3-5 with a 5.77 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) with the Orioles this year and he was pitching at the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk.

He last pitched for Baltimore on June 23, allowing seven earned runs over 2 1/3 innings and he was later designated for assignment to clear a roster post for Kevin Gausman. Garcia –who opted to stay in the organization after he was DFA’ed– made 13 starts at Triple-A, going 8-3 with a 2.84 ERA.  He could have been a potential September callup, although the O’s pitching depth –which includes Gausman—would’ve made it hard to find a role for the righty.

Here are your lineups for the series opener…

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty DH
Brian Roberts 2B

Bud Norris RHP
ATHLETICS LINEUP
Coco Crisp CF
Jed Lowrie SS
Josh Donaldson 3B
Brandon Moss 1B
Yoenis Cespedes Lf
Seth Smith RF
Alberto Callaspo DH
Eric Sogard 2B
Stephen Vogt C

Dan Straily RHP

More on the closer situation

The Orioles used three different pitchers in the ninth inning on Wednesday, none named closer Jim Johnson, begging the question:  How much can you read into manager Buck Showalter’s decision?

“Oh sure, you can read,” Showalter said of the move to give the struggling Johnson a night off. “We’ve got 30-something games [left]. We’re going to put our best foot forward every night. Jimmy’s our best option, one of them. I’m glad we’ve got more than one good option. We’ve got a lot of good options and we’ll continue to make use of them.”

Johnson (3-7, 3.58 ERA) has blown three consecutive save opportunities after converting 10 straight and has allowed runs in four of his last five appearances. The Major League leader in saves (39) and blown saves, Johnson didn’t warm up in Wednesday’s 4-2 win over the Rays and Showalter said the right-hander wasn’t available.

“I could have pushed it,” said Showalter, who used Darren O’Day, Brian Matusz and Tommy Hunter instead.  “[Johnson] had been up two or three days in a row and pitched last night. He’s like second or third in appearances and I was trying real hard to stay away from him.”

Hunter, who entered with runners on first and second and no outs, retired the next two batters before Matt Wieters threw out Kelly Johnson trying to steal second to end the game. It marked Hunter’s fourth career save, all of which have come this season.

Orioles vs. Rays lineups and pregame notes

*Orioles manager Buck Showalter met with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette today to go over potential September callups. The Orioles are looking at guys both on and off the 40-man roster and will also have guys continue to work out at the team’s spring facility in Sarasota in case of an emergency.

Wilson Betemit, who will continue his rehab at Triple-A Norfolk, will be monitored closely over the next few days as the team weighs whether to activate him from the 60-day disabled list or extend his rehab and have him come up as part of roster expansion. The callups will come in waves, with the Orioles on the road in New York the first day eligible.

*Despite losing six of eight, the Orioles have kept things light in the clubhouse and spent the afternoon playing table tennis against kids from the Maryland Table Tennis Center club. It wasn’t exactly a community outreach thing, as these kids are some of the best in the world, and it was amusing to watch them go against –and often fluster– professional athletes.

*Matt Wieters, who has homered in three of four games, as the Orioles catcher continues to heat up in the season’s final few months. Wieters, who has always gotten better at the plate as the year goes on, has a .337 career average against the Rays.

*Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel has his own blog and you can read it here.

*Top draft pick Hunter Harvey made his first start for short-season Aberdeen last night and the young righty was impressive. You can read about his outing here.

Here are your lineups as the Orioles, who have lost six of eight games, try to get back on track and avoid a sweep..

RAYS LINEUP
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Evan Longoria 3B
Wil Myers DH
Yunel Escobar SS
Sean Rodriguez 1B
Jason Bourgeois rf
Jose Lobaton c
Sam Fuld LF

Jeremy Hellickson RHP

 ORIOLES LINEUP

Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Brian Roberts 2B
Steve Pearce DH

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

A few more notes

SI davis

 

*Chris Davis is on the regional cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated (pictured above), with writer Tom Verducci profiling the Orioles first baseman’s rise.

*The Orioles and Rays are the only teams in the American League that have not made three errors in a game this year. Baltimore entered Tuesday’s game with a Major League-best .992 fielding percentage.

*Pitchers Brian Matusz and TJ McFarland signed autographs and played games with critically ill children from the Casey Cares Foundation on Tuesday afternoon. The special event took place at Extra Innings, a state-of-the-art premier, indoor baseball facility, that donated the space. The Caring Connections party is one six programs of the Casey Cares Foundation, a charity that provides uplifting and on-going programs with a special touch for critically ill children and their families.

*The Orioles left a season-high 15 men on base in Monday’s loss, but manager Buck Showalter said he’s not going to ask his club to change their approach.

“There’s never been a perfect player,” he said. “That’s why there are, every once in a while, some outs made in the game. And every once in a while, somebody does strike somebody out. Otherwise, we’d be here forever.  That’s why I have empathy, not sympathy, with how hard the game is to play. The same thing you love guys for, is the same things…they are not robots. They are not some computer-driven cyborg. They are human beings. This is hard. This is hard to do.  But at the same time, I see their frustration. It only compounds it if I, and we as a staff, and teammates compound it.”

*Top draft pick Hunter Harvey is making his first start since being promoted to short-season Aberdeen tonight.

Orioles vs. Rays lineups and pregame notes

RAYS LINEUP
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Evan Longoria 3B
Matt Joyce LF
Will Myers RF
James Loney 1B
Yunel Esocbar SS
Jose Molina C
Kelly Johnson

Alex Cobb RHP

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Brian Roberts DH

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

“Covering the Bases” with Brian Roberts

Get an inside perspective on life in the Major Leagues at “Covering the Bases with Brian Roberts” on Friday, September 6 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Dempsey’s Brew Pub & Restaurant in the Warehouse at Camden Yards.

Fans will enjoy a buffet lunch, along with a program/Q&A session with the Orioles’ second baseman as he discusses his 13-year MLB career, the current season and more.  Tickets are $75, with all proceeds benefitting the Kamryn Lambert Foundation’s annual holiday toy drive for the University of Maryland Hospital for Children.  Thanks to the Orioles, each guest in attendance on September 6 will also receive an autographed, action 8”x10” photo of Roberts and a ticket for the Orioles’ 7:05 p.m. game that night versus the Chicago White Sox.

A limited number of tickets are available for this event and may be purchased online at www.MissionTix.com/Roberts  or by calling 443.852.0480.  All attendees who bring a new toy – valued at $20 or more – will be entered in a raffle that day to win an autographed Brian Roberts bat.

Orioles vs. Rays lineups and pregame notes

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles –fresh off Sunday’s series win– will take on the Tampa Bay Rays for a three-game set.

*Danny Valencia is here and serving at designated hitter tonight, taking the roster spot vacated by pitcher Josh Stinson, who was optioned to Triple-A following yesterday’s game.

*Brian Roberts is hitting leadoff for the first time this season, with shortstop J.J. Hardy back in the lineup –and celebrating his 31st birthday– and Nick Markakis moving down to seventh.

*Jason Hammel threw off flat ground today with no issues and will do the same thing on Wednesday, with the hope being that he will get up on the mound on Friday.
RAYS LINEUP
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Evan Longoria 3B
Wil Myers RF
James Loney 1B
Yunel Escobar SS
Matt Joyce LF
Jose Molina C
Kelly Johnson DH

David Price LHP

ORIOLES LINEUP
Brian Roberts 2B
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Danny Valencia DH
Steve Pearce LF

Chris Tillman RHP

Orioles @ Rockies lineups and pregame notes (updated)

*Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive day with back spasms, but is available off the bench. Hardy said he feels 100 percent better than yesterday –when he was a late scratch after batting practice– but manager Buck Showalter wants to be cautious and give him another day so it doesn’t turn into something worse.

Hardy took 20-25 swings and said he didn’t feel anything in his back, but there was some tightness when he was moving around on the field. He had missed just one game this year prior to Saturday.

“[It’s] really tough,” Hardy said of sitting out the past two days. “Coming into the season I wanted to play 162 and I felt like the first day off I probably could have played through whatever I was feeling, just kind of a scheduled day off.  Yesterday would have been a little bit tougher considering I’ve had back spasms before, about five, six years ago. So I’ve learned with my body, knowing what it can do and what it can’t do. And I don’t want this to turn into something where I have to miss a week, two weeks. And that’s kind of what happened in, I think ’07.”

*Maryland’s football coach Randy Edsall is taking the entire team to this afternoon’s Orioles-Rockies game.

*Jason Hammel will throw off flat ground again on Monday and Wednesday with the hope being that he can progress to the mound on Friday.  Given how far removed Hammel is from being active, manager Buck Showalter agreed he’ll need at least two rehab games. Whether the team still has affiliates playing at that point or they’d have to create a game is yet to be determined.

*Wilson Betemit continues to progress at Double-A Bowie, with special assistant Brady Anderson going over to watch three of his at-bats last night. Anderson told Showalter Betemit isn’t quite ready yet, although the Orioles are hopeful he will be by the time his rehab ends on Aug. 25. The team could extend him to September if Betemit needs more time and that will also be a wait-and-see kind of thing.

Here are your lineups as the Orioles, fresh off last night’s 8-4 win, try to take the series…
ROCKIES LINEUP

Dexter Fowler CF
Corey Dickerson LF
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Michael Cuddyer 1B
Todd Helton DH
Nolan Arenado 3B
Charlie Blackmon RF
Yorvit Torrealba C
DJ LeMahieu 2B

Jhoulys Chacin RHP

ORIOLES LINEUP

Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B J
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Brian Roberts DH
Ryan Flaherty SS
Alexi Casilla 2B
Taylor Teagarden C

Scott Feldman RHP

Orioles vs. Rockies lineups and pregame notes (Hardy scratched)

*shortstop J.J. Hardy was a late scratch from tonight’s lineup, after batting practice, with back spasms and is listed as day-to-day. Ryan Flaherty is now at shortstop, moving from designated hitter, with Steve Pearce serving as DH. The O’s bench, assuming Hardy is unavailable, would be really short tonight in catcher Taylor Teagarden and infielder Alexi Casilla.

*The Orioles have recalled Josh Stinson from Triple-A Norfolk to help out the bullpen and he takes the roster spot vacated by designated hitter Henry Urrutia. Urrutia will go back to Triple-A Norfolk to get some consistent at-bats and he’ll likely get some playing time back in the outfield as well.

Stinson, who was held out of his work day in Norfolk, gives the ‘pen some length if needed behind starter Bud Norris. The O’s will also stay away from using Francisco Rodriguez, who left last night’s game with a right groin strain and is hoping to avoid the disabled list.

*Wilson Betemit’s rehab schedule is mapped out through Aug. 25 and manager Buck Showalter said it’s hard to handicap whether he’ll be ready to rejoin the big league club after that or not. Betemit has not played yet this season.

*Kevin Gausman, who had his start pushed back due to some minor soreness, will start for Triple-A Norfolk on Monday.

*Nick Markakis was out early working with special instructor Terry Crowley and hitting coach Jim Presley as he tries to get out of his recent slump. Markakis is hitting fifth again, with Chris Davis third, and Showalter said it’s a way to take some of the pressure off Markakis.

*The listed starters for the next four days are: Scott Feldman, Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen.

Here are your lineups as the Orioles try to snap a four-game losing streak…
ROCKIES LINEUP
Dexter Fowler CF
Corey Dickerson LF
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Michael Cuddyer DH
Wilkin Rosario
Todd Helton 1B
Nolan Arenado 3B
Charlie Blackmon RF
Jonathan Herrera 2B

Chad Bettis RHP

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Matt Wieters C
Steve Pearce DH
Ryan Flaherty SS
Brian Roberts 2B

Bud Norris RHP

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